Are you dreaming of taking a big international trip? There’s been a lot of chatter in the news lately about countries like Sicily that want to subsidize post-coronavirus vacations with discounted travel. Cyprus is even promising travellers a free vacation if they get diagnosed with COVID-19 in the country.
But Cambodia is going in the opposite direction. The Southeast Asian nation wants to charge travellers a whopping $3,000 travel deposit to take a vacation there during the coronavirus pandemic. And the country, which is famously home to Angkor Wat, isn’t taking any chances, If you get deathly ill, the deposit will also cover the cost of your funeral. As if that weren’t enough, the country is also requiring travellers to have proof of $50,000 in health insurance.
“I guess that’s one way to keep your borders open to travellers,” says travel expert Kip Patrick.
According to the Embassy of Cambodia, the $3,000 deposit can be paid in cash or by credit card and is required when travellers arrive at the Phnom Penh airport. The new regulation outlines all the potential coronavirus costs, including the COVID-19 test ($100), the transport to the testing centre ($5) and the meals and hotel while you await your results ($60). If a traveller tests positive for COVID-19, they will have to pay to stay at a hospital in Phnom Penh ($330 per day) and will be required to take up to four more tests ($100 each). The country estimates that the cost of a funeral—if things go terribly wrong—will cost $1,500.
Here’s another thing to consider: If a traveller tests negative for COVID-19, but someone on their flight tests positive, you will need to quarantine for 14 days. And that will cost you, too. The embassy estimates that it will cost around $1,086 for the two-week quarantine period, plus fees like laundry ($15), doctor’s visits ($6 per day) and even security ($3 per day).
But here’s the good news: If you test negative for COVID-19 and no one on your plane is positive, you’ll only be charged for the test and will be reimbursed for the remaining deposit.
Cambodia has fared well during the pandemic. As of June 24, the country has had only 130 cases and no deaths. And clearly, Cambodia doesn’t want to take any chances with an outbreak, even though the country made headlines back in February when it welcomed the MS Westerdam cruise ship in a humanitarian act of kindness—after the ship was denied from various ports across the region.